I suspect
that the irreversibility of time may be an optical illusion
created by the limitations of our senses.
Like space, so time seems to have three dimensions,
of which we only see one.
Not seeing two of the three time dimensions
gives rise to the impression that reality moves 
along an irreversible linear trajectory.
When through meditation we touch the timeless realm of Being, 
both past and future are ever-present in an infinite now.
To the mindful eye aging and dying is like surfing a wave;
one seems to move in one direction only and finally crash,
but when the wave has passed, 
one finds oneself in the same ocean one has always been - 
catching the next wave.

Gentle Lapping
Stop for a minute :) ....

NEWSLETTER CONTENT

Opening remarks
The Mindfulness Lectures
The Mindsight Intensives
Welcome Dr. MacDonald


Dear Mindfulness Community,

Circumstances have changed to almost fall, yet here we are, where we have always been. I hope you have all enjoyed this summer, which is slowly slipping away.

The summer draws most people out into the world of our external senses, the touches, sights, sounds, smells and tastes of external bountifulness. For me it looks externally like the butterfly phase, where we frolic, soak, dance, walk, run, swim, fly and generally indulge in the sensations of the outside world. It is a time of great exteriority, where we look outward towards the wonders of the wold that surround and feed us.

There is however more to this story of fireworks. While this is all going on, the brain relaxes and regenerates. Beneath the butterfly of physical activity and extroversion, there grows a chrysalis, a creative chaos of invisible introverted activity deeply buried in the non-verbal processes of the right brain and the body. It simmers and ferments 'down there', and when the widely visible burst of flowering summer activity begins to retreat and wilt, the hidden fermentations begin to let their presence be known in the fall. 

While fall appears like the beginning of a retreat from the world, to me it also signals the beginning of a new burst of creative activity. Thoughts, ideas and insights that in June were vaguely and fuzzily hinting to a new dawn, in September begin to become crisp and sound, burning to be proclaimed and broadcast like the bird's song, and ready to be put to the test of inter-being with other human lives and minds.     
 
In this spirit we are gearing up for an exciting year of new explorations in mindfulness. Together we are going back into the salt mines, patiently chipping away at the mysterious rocks of our thousand-year project: 
1. New public lectures will introduce a wider public to the benefits of mindfulness.
2. In the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) department Dr. Linda MacDonald is joining me as faculty to teach a third group as we are accommodating an unprecedented number of patients seeking treatment.
3.  In the Mindsight Intensives I will venture with you into the five alignments of dynamic mindfulness, the fine energy flows of implicit memories deeply buried in the body, the exploration of vulnerability within the safety of intimacy, the discovery of time's hidden dimensions, the spiritual metaphors of different traditions that are routinely misunderstood, the surrender to emptiness as our spiritual heritage, the simplicity of peace and serenity to be found right now, and much more ....
MARK YOUR CALENDARS 
AND 

LecturesTHE MINDFULNESS LECTURES 

 

Lecture 1*:
 
    AT PEACE IN THE MUDDY WATERS:
Simplicity and the bottom-line of mindfulness 

Saturday, October 4, 2014
3:00pm - 5:00pm  

Are you going places? ... building a career, accumulating assets, raising a family, planning vacations, seeking fun, thinking about retirement ... you raise in rank, you get wealthier, your kids grow, you buy stuff, you invest, you age ... in the process you experience your share of challenges, problems, losses, illnesses, accidents, tragedies, deaths, stresses ... as best you can you try to solve them, overcome them, cope with them, accept them ... and yes, you suffer - to various degrees, at different times, in different circumstances ... and increasingly so as you age. So many places you thought you were reaching just vanish like mirages in the desert, you try to find ways out of your suffering. You seek, and no matter what you say you are seeking (money, power, prestige or God), what are you really seeking?

 

Where are you going? Where is your life going? What places are you going to - really? How successful is your search for what you are missing and always imagine you should have in an unforeseeable future? Isn't there an easier way to live the meaningful life?

 

* All lectures provide some common-sense directions about how to practice mindfulness.  


IntensivesTHE MINDSIGHT INTENSIVES
 
In my last August newsletter I gave a short synopsis of this year's programs. A more general description can be found on my website

I was originally planning to only run one group this year. However, since then the number of people who decided to sign up exceeded the capacity of one group. I am therefore going to run two groups again like last year

The Monday group will start on September 22, 2014 and will run from 6-8 pm. The Thursday group will start on September 25, 2014 and will run a bit later than last year from 6:45-8:45 pm.

To sign up:
1. E-mail Dr. T. at streyvaud@mindful.ca, or
2. Call Reena at 905 338 1386

MBSRWELCOME DR. LINDA MACDONALD 

This year the demand for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training at our Mindfulness Centre significantly exceeds what I can handle alone. I am delighted to report that Dr. Linda MacDonald accepted my invitation to join me as faculty. 

Because of her credentials as a physician, the MBSR programs she will be teaching are also covered by OHIP, giving many patients who could otherwise not afford it the opportunity to benefit from this important therapeutic modality.  

Linda's credentials speak for themselves. Rather than reiterating her accomplishments, it is a more personal introduction I want to make. 

A teacher's/therapist's essence is to be a profound student of the human condition. The depth of a student's humility and curiosity gives rise to the power of her transformational teachings and therapeutic interventions. Linda personifies this principle. 

Because of the clinical nature of these MBSR programs, I was looking for somebody with clinical expertise, who could not only teach mindfulness meditation, but also sensitively deal with the complex clinical issues our patients present. As a family physician Linda is perfectly suited for this task.

Sensing a while ago that the time was coming where the number of people seeking mindfulness training would exceed my capacity to handle them all by myself, I gave Linda a few times subtle cues regarding taking on the role of program facilitator, but she never felt she was ready. When I asked her this time, her inward reaction was the usual one: "Me? No way! I have still too much to learn!" Outwardly, she fortunately gladly agreed. Once a certain level of expertise is reached, the best way to learn is to teach and facilitate.

I know Linda for a very long time, for more than a decade, and I have always been impressed by how she marries competence with humility. I have seen her develop through hard work the talent of YODA: You Observe and Decouple Automaticity. You likely all know this story of a meditation student who hated meditating, because his mind felt like a bad neighborhood he did not want to go and visit alone. Linda developed this uncanny ability to not only consistently visit the bad neighborhoods of her mind without ever giving up, but to also do it with tenacity, elegance, grace and compassion, both with herself and others she interacts with. For a mindfulness teacher/therapist to be effective, I know of no other more powerful attribute than that.

At the core of my decision to invite Linda to teach and facilitate lays yet one more observation. Linda has reached the stage where mindfulness has become a way of life. The practice of mindfulness ceases to be 'one more thing' we are doing and try to fit into our lives. Instead, it becomes the very fabric by which our energy flows from one moment to the next. Mindfulness becomes embodied as a way of Being; non-practice is just not an option anymore; if it does happen, it is part of practice.

Linda, welcome in your new role at our Mindfulness Centre.       

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**********

I hope to see as many of you as possible again and to either embark on or continue to pursue together this exciting journey of inquiry, transformation and daily life application of what is most important for our human existence.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

With kind regards,

Dr. T.

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